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Job Opportunities

We are continuously looking for excellent young researchers on the postdoctoral, PhD, and earlier level of their carreer to join our endeavor. If you are interested in working with us, please do not hesitate to send a CV to one of the laboratory leaders.

In particular, we are currently aiming to fill the following positions:

The Helmholtz young investigator‘s group “Theory of multi-scale neuronal networks“ is looking to recruit a

Postdoctoral Researcher (f/m)

Within the INM-6 the Helmholtz young investigator‘s group “Theory of multi-scale neuronal networks“ focuses on the mechanisms shaping the (correlated and oscillatory) activity in neuronal networks with structured connectivity on several spatial scales, from synaptic specificity within cortical layers to inter-area-connections. We aim at a quantitative and mechanistic understanding of features of experimentally observed neuronal activity by developing and adapting analytical methods from statistical physics (e.g. Fokker-Planck equations, mean-field approaches, path integral methods) combined with direct simulations of large-scale neuronal networks at cellular resolution.

Your Job:
The candidate will coordinate on the scientific and organizational level research projects to investigate the relationships between neuronal connectivity on different scales and spatially and temporally structured activity, by developing a sequence of theoretical descriptions from the microscopic level of spiking neurons to effective equations of interacting areas. This involves the development and application of analytical and simulation tools. As a member of our team the candidate will supervise PhD students and in collaboration with our experimental partners define relevant and realistic research projects in the context of the long term research program of the institute.

Your Profile:
* University degree (master’s degree or equivalent) in physics or mathematics, and a PhD in a quantitative science

* Appreciation for the work with PhD students, understanding of scientific progress as a collaborative achievement

* Enthusiasm about the combination of analytical and numerical approaches that enable a quantitative understanding of the dynamics in neuronal networks

* Good programming skills and basic knowledge of software development in either python, C++, or matlab

* Experience in scientific writing in a related field (demonstrated by a corresponding publication record)

We look forward to receiving your application, preferably online via our online recruitment system, quoting the reference number 2014-028.

See here for the full job announcement.

We are also seeking to fill the position of a

PhD Position No.1

In the framework of the Klinische Forschergruppe (KFO) 219 "Basal ganglia-cortex loops: Mechanisms of pathologic interactions and their therapeutic modulation" we have an open PhD student position in work package 9: "Mathematical modeling of development and suppression of pathological activation in basal ganglia – cortex loops“. This project focuses on the generation of pathological beta band oscillations in basal ganglia and their susceptibility to suppression by means of pharmacological challenges or deep brain stimulation. Specifically, this projects aims to model dynamics in basal ganglia – thalamus – cortex loops drawing on computational neuroscience approaches and data deriving from other work packages within the research consortium.

We are seeking for a candidate with a master’s degree in physics, mathematics or computer science. The candidate will develop microscopic network models and will be supervised by the projects leaders, particularly by a postdoctoral fellow supervising the entire work package as well as Prof. Morrison. Programming expertise is appreciated. The candidate will be primarily based at the Jülich Research Center to foster interactions with theoretical neuroscientists. In addition, the candidate is expected to work jointly with project partners at the University Clinic of Cologne.

We offer a position in a creative and international team, themes ranging from computational neuroscience to simulation technology. The PhD position is available for 3 years, starting as soon as possible.

Applications, including a motivation letter, CV, publication list, copies of university certificates, and one reference letter should be sent as a single PDF email attachment (max. 10MB) mentioning the internal reference code KFO219-TP9 to should be sent to:

Dr. Martina Reske (m.reske@fz-juelich.de) – Scientific Coordinator
The call is open until the position has been filled.

PhD Position No.2

Project title: Neural circuit mechanisms of reinforcement learning

Project description:

Reinforcement learning is considered to play a major role in decision-making, and impairments in RL have been associated with various neuropsychiatric disorders including addiction and depression. Since it was found that the activity of midbrain dopamine (DA) neurons appears to represent the reward prediction error, various brain regions in the cerebral cortex and the basal ganglia have been shown to represent several variables appeared in mathematical formulations of RL algorithms. However, underlying mechanisms at the cellular and circuit levels within and between each of those regions remain largely unknown. In this project, we address this issue by developing and study neuronal network models of learning from reward and punishment in the brain's basal ganglia network.

The project will be carried out by the group Functional Neural Circuits at the Institute for Neuroscience and Medicine (INM-6) and Institute for Advanced Simulation (IAS-6) led by Prof. Abigail Morrison, together with our Japanese collegues (Kenji Morita, University of Tokyo). The project is supported by German Ministry of Science(BMBF) in the framework of the German-Japan cooperation in Computational Neuroscience. The project incorporates tools and methods from different fields, ranging from neuroscience to physics and mathematical modeling to build large scale simulations of neural networks. Supervision is provided by Prof. Abigail Morrison and Dr. Jenia Jitsev, both having considerable experience in neural network modeling, with focus on plasticity and learning.

We seek a highly motivated candidate with curiosity and persistence. A preferable candidate will have background and strong Master degree in either in neuroscience, physics, mathematics, biology, computer science or a related field of natural science. The candidate should have experience in basic software engineering techniques (minimal requirement is ability to write clear well-structured code in either C++ or Python). Furthermore, a solid basis in mathematical modelling (handling differential equations, basics of stability analysis) is essential. The most important requirement is the ability to learn new things and to find ways to solve novel problems. The PhD position is available for 3 years, starting as soon as possible.

During the PhD, you will also have opportunity to visit conferences, workshops, summer schools and labs of our partners in Tokyo and benefit from their experience, too. You will be a part of a creative and young team, rich with inspiration for the different state-of-the art topics in experimental and theoretical neuroscience, and have the opportunity to take part at the forefront of current neuroscientific research.

Research Center Jülich hosts excellent facilities, including the Jülich Supercomputing Center, and is part of newly starting EU Human Brain Project, the largest neuroscientific initiative to study the brain funded in Europe.

Applications, including a motivation letter, a CV, copies of university certificates, and one letter of reference should be sent as a single PDF email attachment (max. 10MB) mentioning the internal reference code BRDJ-PhD to:

Dr. Martina Reske (m.reske@fz-juelich.de) – Scientific Coordinator

The call is open until the position has been filled.

Student Helper

Additionally, we are seeking a student helper to support the institute's administration and scientific coordination (max 19hrs/week). Among others, your taks may involve support of database and website maintenance, workshop organization, buisness management, preparation of scientific reports and management of research projects.

Your profile:

  • student at a local university, preferably in early or mid stages of your study as we are looking for a candidate staying with us for a longer period of time.
  • proactive work style
  • good interpersonal and communication skills
  • fluent in German and English
  • very good office programm skills, e.g. word, powerpoint, xls, ideally visio

There is the opprotunity that the student helper may conduct his/her bachelor/master thesis (computer science, physics or similar) or MD thesis in our group.

Please contact Dr. Martina Reske, m.reske@fz-juelich.de, to apply for this position or if you have any further questions.


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